Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV and Roku streaming devices all support voice search.
Google’s Chromecast dongle sports a $35 price tag.
Game. Set. Match.
Consumers are – at the moment anyway – opting for price over product features, snapping up Chromecast dongles almost twice as often as Apple TV, the second-most popular streaming device.
In Q3, consumer bought 3.22 million Chromecasts compared to 1.84 million Apple TVs, and 1.47 million each of Roku and Amazon Fire TV streaming devices.
“Despite the growing penetration of integrated Smart TVs, Digital Media Streamers such as Chromecast and Fire TV continue to prove popular with consumers thanks to their low cost and effectiveness at bridging the gap between the Internet and the TV screen,” said David Watkins, service director of Strategy Analytics’ Connected Home Devices practice. “While the long term viability of such devices will be threatened by advancements in Smart TV technology, they are currently acting as significant components in Apple, Google and Amazon's fast evolving TV and video ecosystems.”
But streaming devices, surprisingly, made up only a small portion of connected TV and device shipments in the quarter.
Overall, some 52.7 million units, an increase of 18% from 44.5 million in Q3 2014, shipped, prompting questions of the conventional wisdom positing that cheaper, easier to upgrade streaming devices would be consumers’ choice over pricey connected and Smart TVs.
In fact, said SA, the installed base of such connected TVs and devices is beyond 660 million units with Smart TVs accounting for 47% of the total.
Samsung shipped the highest number of connected TVs and devices during the quarter (think Blu-ray players and connected TVs), with Sony, thanks to PlayStations and TVs, still having the largest connected TV device footprint in terms of devices installed in homes. Samsung and Microsoft are in 2nd and 3rd place respectively.
Within the game console market, Sony shipped more than double the number of consoles as Microsoft in the quarter although the Xbox One is expected to close the gap on the PS4 during the final quarter thanks to its appealing 1st and 3rd party bundles.
“The growing adoption of Connected TV Devices in the home proves that the living room TV screen is still the dominant medium for consuming TV and video content,” said Chirag Upadhyay, senior research analyst. “The collective viewing experience cannot be replicated on a smartphone or tablet and so we expect the 'connected TV screen' to remain a focal point of homes in the future."
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